for this game

Washington State holds on against scrappy Arizona State

Feb 4, 2007 - 4:02 AM TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Washington State nearly blew a 16-point lead but held on when it mattered most.

Daven Harmeling scored 16 points to lead the 17th-ranked Cougars to a 48-47 Pac-10 Conference victory over scrappy Arizona State.

Derrick Low's two free throws with 15 seconds left gave Washington State (19-4, 8-3 Pac-10) a 48-44 lead. Christian Polk answered back with a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining for the Sun Devils.

Although Low bobbled the ensuing inbound pass, the Cougars were able to survive the turnover as Polk's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.

"At the half we knew they would come back and be physical," Low said. "They made some big plays and we had to do all we could do end the game. The inbound pass bounced off my hand. They got a real nice look at the end. We got lucky and won. That definitely looked like it was going in."

Washington State was held without a bucket for 11:20 in the second half, allowing Arizona State to go on a 13-0 run and tie the contest at 44-44 with 2:30 left. Robbie Cowgill's jumper with 29 seconds later ended the drought.

"We learned some lessons tonight about what we have to improve on but it is always better to learn a lesson with a win than a loss," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said.

Low scored 10 points for the Cougars (6-16, 0-11), who shot 41 percent (16-of-39) despite going just 4-of-20 from the field after the break.

The Sun Devils led, 10-8, just under five minutes into the contest but the Cougars went on a 16-4 run that was capped by Kyle Weaver's two free throws with 8:51 left, making it 24-14.

Washington State went on to a 36-24 lead at the half.

Jeff Pendergraph scored 18 points for Arizona State, which shot 36 percent (19-of-53) from the field.

"This whole week we have struggled in the first half and the second halves have been tremendous," Pendergraph said. "We just toughened up and did let them get what they wanted in the second half. We tried to keep the big guys from getting the ball. If we hold teams to 12 points a half we will win a lot of games."

The Cougars' 48 points were their fewest in a conference victory since February 17, 1983, a 48-45 win over Oregon.